My neighborhood pet store, All The Best Pet Care, in the most recent example of their infinite awesomeness, presented my kitties with a generous holiday gift bag full of toys and treats and food. One of the goodies inside was a bag of ZiwiPeak Venison & Fish Daily Cat Cuisine. The kitties got kind of a small breakfast this morning, and since they always appear to be starving, I decided to give them an afternoon snack.
ZiwiPeak is made in New Zealand, “prepared with care beneath the Bay of Plenty’s celebrated peak, Mount Maunganui.”
The food is “air-dried,” which means it’s one of those hybrid raw-but-not-raw foods, like freeze-dried “raw” cuisine. I’m not convinced that these foods actually qualify as “raw,” since by definition something freeze-dried or made into jerky isn’t raw meat, but since I’m not trying to feed a pure raw diet to my girls, it’s largely a semantic argument for me. ZiwiPeak doesn’t claim that the food is raw — rather, they call it the equivalent of a raw diet, explaining that “[t]he ZiwiPeak range is formulated on the same balance of meat ingredients - meat, heart, liver, kidney, cold washed green tripe and bone, plus natural vitamins and minerals, that cats and dogs would find by hunting in the wilderness.” However, I see it discussed on a lot of raw food forums.
Jerky is what ZiwiPeak most resembles. It’s in small squares, and smells more than I’d expect, but compared to actual raw food, it’s a breeze to handle and serve. I put about a quarter-ounce in each of two bowls and released the beasts.
ZiwiPeak’s website boasts of the inclusion of New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel, although it doesn’t really explain why this is such a big deal, other than that it’s a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Glucosamine and Chondroitin (which, incidentally, they spell incorrectly — this is why we have editors, kids). Most of their page on Green-Lipped Mussels deals with their green harvesting techniques. However, the rest of the internet touts it as an arthritis and inflammation treatment. It will hopefully be many years before my cats have to worry about arthritis, but it certainly can’t hurt to feed them things that are good for their joints even now, considering they both have a penchant for jumping down from the top of the entertainment center.
Here’s the nutritional breakdown of 14 ounces of ZiwiPeak:
INGREDIENTS: Venison – Meat (min. 57.7%), Hoki Fish (min. 12%), Venison – Liver (min. 9%), Tripe, Heart and Kidney (min. 7%), Chicory Inulin, Green-lipped Mussel (min. 4%), Fish Oil, Lecithin, Kelp, Vitamins and Minerals. Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols. Additives: Vit. D3, Vit. E, Copper. Calories 1778 KJ/100g.
|Protein (min.)||33%||Ash (max.)||9%|
|Fat (min.)||28%||Fibre (max.)||0.5%|
It seems like a good mix of real meat and organs, green tripe is supposed to be excellent for cats, and I like that they use fish oil rather than flaxseed oil, which is a potential allergen for some cats. Chicory is supposed to be a prebiotic that improves nutrient absorption, so it’s probably a good thing to have in there.
All in all, it looks pretty good nutritionally. So how did it fare with the kitties?
Surprisingly, Lucy — generally transformed into a growling, greedy beast by the opportunity to consume anything that might possibly be edible — seemed almost indifferent to the food. She ate it, of course, because she’ll eat anything, but as I put the other goodies away, she kept jumping up onto the counter to investigate them while there was still food left in her dish, a true first for her.
Molly, on the other hand — who is generally content to let Lucy at the food first and take what she can get — gobbled up all of it, and then came to me and politely but insistently requested more. Earlier this week, she declined a second helping of raw food, so this might be a good compromise for her: it contains most of the nutrients of raw food, but is in a form that’s clearly more palatable to her.
Bottom line: a convenient alternative to raw. Pricey, but nutritious and easy to handle.
Lucy: One paw up.
Molly: Two paws up, along with some whisker-licking.
Jessica: Two thumbs up.